Yes, we're home again. Sorry for the lack of posts during the rest of our vacation, but between a cold I caught from Eastin and the increasing lack of sleep as the week progressed, I wasn't up to thinking and writing at the hotels each night. So, let me try a quick run-down of the rest of our trip....
- Yellowstone: Beautiful, really. Especially the Canyon -- and Old Faithful was a cool sight, too. But my full enjoyment of it was spoiled by the size of the place and the lousy roads trying to cover it. Lousy as in slow. To their credit, they know they're lousy roads and they're in the process of improving them, but right now, the construction just added to the frustration of getting around such a huge place. Winding, two-lane roads with wimpy drivers afraid to move above 20mph and not thoughtful enough to pull over occasionally to let faster vehicles by (as the road signs suggest) already make for hours on the road trying to get to the next beautiful site. Construction didn't help.
- White-water rafting: Yes, friends, I went white-water rafting. I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't had to paddle, but I still enjoyed it -- probably one of my top three activities for the trip. We all enjoyed it, but Eastin the most. She jumped into the water to swim twice (and this was bitter freezing cold water, folks) and was hoping she would fall in while going through one of the rapids. Her mother was infinitely relieved that she did not.
- Frontier Days Rodeo in Cheyenne: This is the largest outdoor rodeo in the country -- a week-long event -- and probably one of the most fun rodeos I've ever attended. But my favorite moment was the national anthem. A young girl was singing it and her voice was absolutely fantastic. I'm getting more emotional with age, it seems, and I always tear up a bit during the national anthem. But when this sweet little girl was done singing, she ran into the arms of a grown-up nearby (a parent, I assumed) and fell into tears, clearly overwhelmed by the power of singing that song in front of 12,000 screaming, appreciative patriots. And then I started to really cry. Keith and the girls kept looking at me, asking, "Are you okay?" Yes, I'm fine. Just a bit ferclempt, thank you very much.
The only really bad part of the trip . . . my miserable sleeping. I had to take my max of medications every night, and that still didn't keep me in slumberland for more than a few hours. I'm calling the sleep specialist again this week. Wish I could do so with more optimism.